What's New

Achim Wackerow and Michelle Edwards elected as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Scientific Board

In May, elections were held for the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair of the Scientific Board. Achim Wackerow (GESIS) was elected as Chair, with Michelle Edwards (CISER) elected as Vice-Chair. The Scientific Board: 1. Contributes to the substantive content of DDI standards and semantic products and approve major version revisions. 2. Evaluates technical proposals through the Alliance standards review process. 3. Undertakes research and testing concerning proposals for DDI standards and semantic products. 4. Develops and promulgates best practices for use of DDI standards and semantic products. 5. Assesses progress and barriers to progress. 6. Suggests future directions and activities for the Alliance. The Technical Committee is a standing committee of the Scientific Board. The Scientific Board also has direct oversight of the Moving Forward project (DDI4).

NADDI 2016 Report

With 75 registered participants representing 34 organizations, many of whom were new to the DDI community, the 4th Annual North American DDI Conference was held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada April 7-8. The Health Research Data Repository hosted the event, supported by the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta.

The conference program of 15 presentations and 4 workshops reflected a wide variety of potential and practical uses of DDI within the social science community and beyond, such as helping to drive a new health data ecosystem, managing heterogeneous longitudinal weather data, and addressing the needs of geospatial data and time-based media. Keynote addresses were given by Dr. Lawrence Richer, Associate Director of the Women and Children's Health Research Institute, and Dr. Larry Hoyle ("The Evolution of DDI - Concepts and Technology"), Senior Scientist at the University of Kansas Institute for Policy & Social Research. In addition to the program, Colectica and Nooro Online Research partnered to provide a demonstration of DDI's interoperability by creating, distributing, and documenting the conference's feedback survey in real-time.

NADDI 2017 will be held at Ithaca, New York on April 5-7, 2016.

DDI Directions newsletter published

The latest issue of DDI Directions was published on February 3rd.  It includes a review of the successful EDDI 2015 conference in Denmark, as well as a reminder about the upcoming NADDI conference in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. There are a lot of exciting DDI 4.0 activities announced in the newsletter, including DDI-Views, a report from the recent Copenhagen Sprint, and a save-the-date notice for the April Sprint at NADDI.

Thanks go to Kelly Chatain for putting together this newsletter and to all of the hardworking people who support DDI and are helping to spread its adoption.


New Alliance Members: Statistics Denmark and Nooro Online Research

The DDI Alliance recently welcomed Statistics Denmark as a Full Member. Mogens Grosen Nielsen, Chief Adviser, Head of Metadata, will be the Member Representative. 

The Alliance also recently welcomed Nooro Online Research as an Associate Member.

Welcome, Statistics Denmark and Nooro Online Research!

Upcoming DDI4 Sprints

We are planning the next DDI4 sprint for the week of April 11-15 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (the week after NADDI).  The goal of the sprint is to complete a consistency review of the DDI4 modeling, particularly reviewing consistent use of patterns.  If you can participate in the sprint (either in person or virtually), please contact Jared Lyle (lyle@umich.edu).  More information will be posted here: https://ddi-alliance.atlassian.net/wiki/display/DDI4/Sprints.  
Another sprint is planned for the week of May 23-27 (the week before IASSIST).  Details of this sprint, including goals and specific location in Norway, are under development.  

NADDI 2016 Call for Abstracts

NADDI 2016: Document, Discover, and Interoperate (April 6-8th, 2016)

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


The North American DDI (NADDI) user conference provides opportunities for all who are actively using or are interested in learning about this community-developed metadata standard for observational research data. This is a conference to come together, connect, and learn from one another. NADDI 2016 will be a three-day conference consisting of hands-on workshops (April 6) and both invited and contributed presentations (April 7 & 8). These events will be of interest to a broad community, including research and data professionals in the social and health sciences and other disciplines, and at all levels of expertise, from novice to expert.

This year’s conference theme is ‘Document, Discover, and Interoperate’.

The full power of DDI is exhibited through its applications in documenting, discovering, and interoperating data. These are activities that sustain the flow of vital information throughout a research project. Through the use of DDI, this research information is defined, identified, structured so that it can be shared predictably with other applications or be machine-actionable.

Important Dates!

  • Abstract submission closes - January 15, 2016
  • Notification of abstract acceptance - January 29, 2016
  • Presenter's deadline to register - March 18, 2016
  • Early rate registration closes - March 18, 2016
  • Registration deadline - March 28, 2016

Given the theme of this year’s NADDI conference, we are looking for submissions that will fit into the following four categories:

1) Repository Platforms and Metadata;

2) Metadata Production Systems;

3) Discovery Platforms;  

4) Interoperability.

The hosts of this year’s NADDI conference are the Health Research Data Repository (https://uofa.ualberta.ca/nursing/research/research-supports-and-services/hrdr) and Faculty of Nursing Research Office of the University of Alberta.

For more information please visit the conference website at: http://naddiconf.org/2016/

For immediate inquiries or additional information at this time please contact the conference Chair, James Doiron (jdoiron@ualberta.ca).

EDDI Conference Held in Copenhagen

EDDI15, the 7th Annual European DDI User Conference, took place on December 2-3, 2015, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference was hosted by Statistics Denmark (DST) and DDA/National Archive of Denmark, and organized jointly by GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and IDSC of IZA - International Data Service Center of the Institute for the Study of Labor.
There were 83 participants from 44 organizations in 15 countries in attendance.  The conference program included 33 presentations and posters, 3 tutorials, and 5 side meetings. Keynote addresses were given by Lars Thygesen and Carsten Zangenberg ("Building a statistics lighthouse for all decision makers"), and Henrik Pedersen ("The Danish National Forum for Research data Management").
Save the date for the next EDDI!

EDDI2016 will be held at GESIS Cologne on December 6-7, 2016.

Update on EDDI 2015 Conference in Copenhagen

EDDI15, the 7th Annual European DDI User Conference will take place on December 2-3, 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference is hosted by Statistics Denmark (DST) and DDA/National Archive of Denmark.

The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an international effort to create a standard to describe statistical and social science data. Documenting data with DDI facilitates interpretation and understanding -- both by humans and computers. The freely available international DDI standard describes data that result from observational methods in the social, behavioral, economic, and health sciences. Use DDI to Document, Discover, and Interoperate!

The conference will bring together DDI users and professionals from all over Europe and the world. Anyone interested in developing, applying, or using DDI is invited to attend. The program offers 30 presentations and posters, 3 tutorials, and 4 side meetings.

The keynote speeches on the first day will be delivered by Lars Thygesen (Thygesen Statistics Consulting) and Carsten Zangenberg (Statistics Denmark). On the second day the keynote speech will be held by Christian Ertmann-Christiansen (The Royal Danish Library).

The conference will open on Wednesday, Dec 2nd at 9:00 am and close on Thursday, Dec 3rd at 4:15 pm. Tutorials will take place on Tuesday, Dec 1st at 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Two side meetings will take place on Friday, Dec 4th (the DDI Developers Meeting and the International Colectica User Conference).

The detailed program including abstracts is available at: http://www.eddi-conferences.eu/ocs/index.php/eddi/eddi15/schedConf/program

The registration for participants and accommodation booking are open (regular fee up to Nov 13). Please have a look at:



Please note following important details:

- The regular fee will be available up to Nov 13, 2015. Late registration is still possible later.

- The reduced rates of the hotels are available on a first come, first served basis.

EDDI15 is organized jointly by DST - Statistics Denmark and the DDA - Danish Data Archive/National Archive of Denmark, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and IDSC of IZA - International Data Service Center of the Institute for the Study of Labor.

Jared Lyle to Serve as DDI Director

At its June 3 meeting in Minneapolis, the Board appointed Jared Lyle of ICPSR to serve as the next Executive Director of the Alliance, replacing Mary Vardigan, who had served in this capacity since the inception of the Alliance in 2003 and will retire this year.

Jared will take over as Director in December, bringing new strengths and skills to the role. He is an Associate Archivist and Director of Curation Services at ICPSR where he supervises the ICPSR Metadata Unit. He advocates for best practices in data management and curation in many venues and is an instructor in the ICPSR Summer Program course “Curating and Managing Research Data for Reuse.”

He has a Master's degree from the University of Michigan's School of Information and has been active in facilitating partnerships between domain repositories and institutional repositories. He also coordinates activities of the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS), a voluntary partnership of organizations created to archive, catalog, and preserve data used for social science research.

Four New Members Elected to DDI Alliance Executive Board

The June 2015 election resulted in four new members joining the DDI Executive Board:

  • Bill Block, Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER) – 2015-2019
  • Louise Corti, United Kingdom Data Archive (UKDA) – 2015-2019
  • David Schiller, Research Data Centre of the German Federal Employment Agency, Institute for Employment Research (IAB) – 2015-2017, completing the term of Gillian Nicoll
  • Joachim Wackerow, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences – 2015-2019

Continuing members include:

  • Steve McEachern, Australian Data Archive (ADA) – 2013-2017
  • Leanne Trimble, University of Toronto, Scholars Portal – 2013-2017
  • George Alter, representing ICPSR, the Alliance Host Institution

Sincere thanks are owed to the outgoing Board members -- Mari Kleemola, Ron Nakao, Gillian Nicoll, and Anita Rocha -- for their excellent service and dedication. They accomplished a great deal during a short time and had a huge impact on professionalizing the organization.